BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) -- Deon Thompson had 14 points and 12 rebounds to lead stingy North Carolina to a 60-55 victory over UAB Tuesday night in the National Invitation Tournament quarterfinals.
The Tar Heels (19-16) held UAB without a field goal for nearly 10 minutes down the stretch to earn their first trip to the NIT semifinals since 1973. They will face Virginia Tech or Rhode Island.
Larry Drew, whose basket with 2 seconds left sealed a second-round win at Mississippi State, scored on an uncontested layup and two free throws in the final 46 seconds to help put UAB away.
The Blazers went without a field goal from the 10:21 mark until Dexter Fields' putback with 35 seconds left cut North Carolina's lead to 54-51. North Carolina hit six straight free throws after that.
The defending national champions are seeking a consolation prize after missing the NCAA tournament.
Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.